- The Washington Times - Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Tiger Woods probably wouldn’t be back on the PGA Tour this weekend if he wasn’t playing at his own tournament, he admitted Tuesday.

But golf’s biggest drawing card believes he’s ready to return after recovering from March 31 surgery to repair a nerve impingement in his back, and what better place than Congressional Country Club at an event that benefits his foundation?

“If this wasn’t the foundation and our impact that we can have with kids, I probably would not,” Woods said at a press conference at Congressional. “As I said, our goal was the British Open. I healed extremely fast, thanks to my physios and all my nutrition and all the different things that we did and the protocols; and the MRIs and all the different steps that we have done along the way have allowed me to get to this point.”

The questions for Woods focused primarily on his recovery and how he felt about returning early. He gave a play-by-play progression of his recovery starting with putting and working his way up the bag to chipping and pitching, adding 10 yards every day or two as he was able.

“I broke 50 for nine, first time, just like I was when I was 3,” joked Woods. “So I’m sneaking up on it. My prime’s coming up.”

Woods suffered a similar setback in 2011 when he missed the U.S. Open for the first time since 1994 with issues in his left knee and Achilles. He is no stranger to dealing with injury and recovery, which isn’t to say that he’s come to enjoy it. But he has learned patience which has been crucial to his recovery from his most recent setback.

SEE ALSO: After pair of wins early in 2014, Patrick Reed looks to simplify game at Congressional

“I think with that old adage, with age comes wisdom, and I have certainly become much more patient,” said Woods. “I think especially with two little ones, that has definitely taught me a lot of patience, and it has carried over into my golf on the golf course as well as off.”

Added Woods: “Anyone that’s had any kind of nerve impingement, it’s no joke. … And as you know, in the past, I probably would have pushed through it and set myself back and then kept pushing harder and harder and harder until stuff breaks.”

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